City of mists, city of golden sunlight

Edinburgh, autumn mist 05

Autumn can be a very odd time here in Edinburgh – the weather is very changeable, as indeed it is for all of the UK, but with the vast Firth of Forth running along the city’s northern and eastern edges we can get more weather conditions coming in from the huge river and the sea. And quite often in Edinburgh that means haar and mist. Yesterday the city was enveloped in mist from morning to night, as if a gray, silk shawl had been draped over the stone shoulders of this grand old lady. This was what I saw walking home from work last night – here’s Saint Giles Cathedral vanishing into the gray:

Edinburgh, autumn mist 02

And yet just the next day and we have perfect autumnal conditions – clear, beautifully blue sky, that stretched out, golden quality of sunlight. Even at half past five the lower parts of the buildings in the Old Town are already deeply in shadow, an artificially early sunset caused by the tall architecture of the neighbouring buildings, only the topmost parts stand tall enough to catch those final rays of sunlight. Saint Giles is already dark with long shadows, save for the elaborate ‘crown’ spire is glowing in the setting sun:

autumn sunset - Saint Giles 01

and a close up of that spire, old stonework now painted for a few brief minutes with molten copper:

autumn sunset - Saint Giles 02

I took my time walking home tonight, walked up to the Castle esplanade, which, sitting atop the great extinct volcano of Castle Rock, offers some great views over Edinburgh. Looking south east I could see the old rotunda of McEwan Hall (where my graduation ceremony was, a lifetime ago) at Edinburgh University, along with some of the brand new buildings at the Uni, while above a huge half moon is rising, chasing the rapidly descending sun in the west, while over my head the skies cycled through hue and shades of colours from pale blue to red, purples, orange and deep blue. Beautiful.

moonrise kingdom